A call center case study. Inside BS Show guest Richard Blank
Dave Lorenzo: All right, Richard. So before we went to that break, I asked you to think of a case study for us. Have you come up with one?
Richard Blank: I have, in fact, I can make it easy for you. I could do it across all verticals. How does that sound? So it applies to every account that I have. I always have an answer for that. A couple things we can do.
Richard Blank: The first thing is there's certain words that you have because the vowels in Spanish in English could give away. So we write certain words out phonetically for them, even though they need to know how to spell it properly, that can eliminate any sort of confusion or any sort of guessing. The second thing is, let's say for an example, that we're representing a company that's out of Chicago in a certain suburbs.
Richard Blank: What we like to do with a lot of the times is just take a Google. Right around the block and just to see the local pizza parlors, the parks, the churches, and what's going on around there. So instead of just giving us specific direction, we can talk about Mike's pizza, which everybody knows more than anything.
Richard Blank: And finally, we, we have to ensure that if people do follow up or even subcategory questions that we need to have every single sort of vocabulary for that. Doesn't mean that we need to have it memorized, but we should have a glossary of terms. So just, if something comes up, we're skilled enough to say that's an excellent question, Dave, and we could look it up while we're answering that question for you.
Richard Blank: Many people are capable of doing that. So as long as we're on a level playing field and we're given all the resources to, as you say, make it. Like we're in the United States and we know what the shore is and cheese fries and things like that. Then, uh, maybe tell us a couple more local flavors that we have or things that we should be aware of.
Richard Blank: And those are the sort of calls that we make to the people where it sounds like we have more in common with them and we know where we're going. It's. A simple, an example, like what we're calling businesses, instead of just saying, how are you a lot of the times we'll ask, Hey, how's Costa Rica's call center doing today in the tens of thousands of calls, I've analyzed.
Richard Blank: We find that company name, spike technique by asking about a company or organization, a lot of people have responded with you've been here before, or you an alumni sounds like, you know where you're going. You can parlay that with an extension or a person's name. And so you're rotting on that sort of high of familiarity, and they'll be able to transfer you.
Richard Blank: I always believe that lying on the phone is not ethical. I'm not saying I'm lying and I'm not saying that we're being slick. There's nothing wrong with being clever. And as long as you say a person's name a certain way, or a company's name a certain way with your anonymity, they can kind of maybe reduce the fact that you're a telemarketer or you're selling something and you make a different sort of first impression approach.
Richard Blank: And so these are the sort of things that enable us to prolong our conversations to at least increase our odd. Of a conversion ratio. I could give you 50 tips and tricks today, but we don't have as much time to go over that. But I think the most important thing, my, my friend, Dave, and thank you so much for you and your audience's time is that I think the first 30 seconds of the phone call is ideal.
Richard Blank: You need to, once again, not be egocentric, you need to put that company first and by saying their names and being polite to those that answer the phone. And making sure that they get credit when you are transferred or have given you information. And you should especially do that when you do a follow up letter, because you're probably separating yourself, Dave, from a thousand other people, and I've had the secretary or gatekeeper say, you know, thank you very much for that positive escalation.
Richard Blank: I got a raise or I got acknowledged, or it just made me feel good after 30 years, you're the first person to say that. So of course they're waiting for my call to transfer it for the close. I believe in woo way. Why have resistance do at least resistance allow the wind and the current to take you so any sort of friction and forced motion is not natural.
Richard Blank: I think that if I can gain their confidence in the beginning and show very nice, uh, reserved side where I can still close a deal, but I'm not gonna do it. Like you see in the movies I can, but that's out of character for. And if I'm looking to have long term relationships with people, it's not a one and a done, I want to get referred.
Richard Blank: I want Dave you and my network together to grow as well. And as I say before, coming on your show today, I, I wanted to share with you certain things that enabled me to be in business for 14 years and running this call center. If I were not able to do these sort of baseline ethics, morals, sort of phone calls for my clients, this would've never worked.
Richard Blank: and, um, if anything of nothing taking that away today is that if you, if you reject more than you accept, if you stand tall to your beliefs and you do things to make your great grandparents proud, you're gonna preserve, you're gonna last, you'll have the endurance. You'll make it through the tough times.
Richard Blank: Cuz those are the times you look in the mirror and you ask yourself, is this still worth it? Well, it is worth it. I have a luxury trade. This should have never happened. The fact that I'm here in Costa Rica for 21 years. And I have a company with my wife after 14 years. It's a long shot from Northeast Philadelphia.
Richard Blank: So I smile every day. I've learned to do that and I've learned to give my agents dignity and to know every single one of their names and to break bread with them. And I have the largest collection of pinball here. When you visit me, you'll see. So it's free play that it can play pinball with me, go to the Pacman machine, make yourself comfortable.
Richard Blank: Because that's my goal in a call center environment, which is a grind is, is to be the opposite. This is not a boiler room. This could be a career for these young men and women. They could build it like me. And if I could be the last boss they ever have, maybe when they move on, they can know every agent's name and keep that sort of tradition that I have. Dave.
Dave Lorenzo: That's terrific. I love it.
Inside BS Show has accepted my invitation to join the audience for a solid discussion regarding taking a chance by moving abroad and starting a company from scratch in Costa Rica. Dave Lorenzo discusses with Richard advanced telemarketing strategy, conflict management, interpersonal soft skills, customer support, rhetoric, gamification, employee motivation and phonetic micro expression reading.
Richard’s journey in the call center space is filled with twists and turns. When he was 27 years old, he relocated to Costa Rica to train employees for one of the larger call centers in San Jose. With a mix of motivational public speaking style backed by tactful and appropriate rhetoric, Richard shared his knowledge and trained over 10 000 bilingual telemarketers. Richard Blank has the largest collection of restored American Pinball machines and antique Rockola Jukeboxes in Central America making gamification a strong part of CCC culture.Richard Blank is the Chief Executive Officer for Costa Rica’s Call Center since 2008.
Mr. Richard Blank holds a bachelors degree in Communication and Spanish from the University of Arizona and a certificate of language proficiency from the University of Sevilla, Spain. A Keynote speaker for Philadelphia's Abington High School 68th National Honors Society induction ceremony. Giving back to Abington Senior High School is very important to Mr. Blank. As such, he endows a scholarship each year for students that plan on majoring in a world language at the university level.
Costa Rica’s Call Center (CCC) is a state of the art BPO telemarketing outsource company located in the capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica. Our main focus has been, and will always be to personally train each and every Central America call center agent so that we may offer the highest quality of outbound and inbound telemarketing solutions and bilingual customer service to small and medium sized international companies, entrepreneurs as well as fortune 500 companies.
We encourage you to visit one of our call centers on your next personal vacation or business trip to Central America’s paradise, Costa Rica. While you are here, we would recommend taking an extra day of your trip to visit breathtaking virgin beaches, play golf next to the ocean, try your luck at deep sea fishing, explore tropical jungles, climb volcanos or just relax in natural hot springs. Come and see for yourself why call center outsourcing in Costa Rica is a perfect solution for your growing company and a powerhouse in the BPO industry.